When executing my weekly ritual of sifting through hundreds of iTunes' "next big things" in search of a subject to review, finding Justin Timberlake was back — again — caused relief to wash over me, for several reasons.
For one thing, I just think sequels are fun, especially in the music industry where the second is unlikely to cheapen the first no matter its quality.
And second, I don't get tired of Timberlake. Is there a token similarity about most of his songs? Perhaps. Are half of them about twice as long as they need to be? Sure. But these aren't real complaints — not when you consider the massive appeal of his signature style.
JT songs are songs I will always recognize as doubly slick in a somewhat dignified way, for lack of a better description, providing an extra engaging angle to the pop genre.
I'll stop with the slogans and jump right into Part 2 of The 20/20 Experience, with Take Back the Night — Part 2's Suit and Tie, but with half the hype and twice as streamlined. I don't buy into the idea that because a song receives a special amount of attention I'm obligated to drawl that it's not the best. Take Back the Night is essentially the whole package, classically fast-paced and equipped with sufficient doses of the supreme falsetto JT has been charming listeners with for years.
The rest of the album is in keeping with the theme set by Part 1 of The 20/20 Experience. This is not to say it is bad music, but it makes the expanded length of most songs appear unnecessary. With the exception of the song mentioned above and TKO (which are relatively short at six and seven minutes, respectively), there is some fat to be trimmed.
JT's still got it. For bringing his good stuff back in such a big way he has earned my respect. As a unit, the two albums are top-notch, so that's how I suggest you listen to them.
MAX ASAYESH-BROWN St. Petersburg High